Symposium on Climate Change Impacts and Adaption Strategies in Coastal Communities

Climate change is known to impact coastal areas in a variety of ways.

According to the 5th Assessment Report produced by the Inter- Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), coastal zones are highly vulnerable to climate change and climate-driven impacts may be further exacerbated by other human-induced pressures. Apart from sea level rise which poses a threat to both human well being and property, extreme events such as cyclones and storm surges lead not only to significant damages to property and infra-structure, but to salt water intrusion, the salinisation of groundwater, and intensification of soil erosion, among many other problems. There are also many negative impacts to the natural environment and biodiversity, which include damages to important wetlands and habitats that safeguard the overall ecological balance, and consequently the provision of ecosystem services and goods on which the livelihoods of millions of people depend.

These impacts are particularly acute in the developing countries and island Sates in the Pacific, Caribbean, Latin America and Asian region, since they have limited access to the funding and technologies needed to allow them to be more resilient and recover from the damages caused by hurricanes, floods and other extreme events.

The above state of affairs illustrates the need for a better understanding of how climate change affects coastal areas and communities, and for the identification of processes, methods and tools which may help the countries and the communities in coastal areas to adapt and become more resilient. There is also a perceived need to showcase successful examples of how to cope with the social, economic and political problems posed by climate change in coastal regions.

It is against this background that the “World Symposium on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Strategies to Costal Communities” is being organized by the Research and Transfer Centre “Applications of Life Sciences” of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany), Manchester Metropolitan Universiy (UK), the International Climate Change Information Programme (ICCIP) and ADRIA Samoa. The Symposium will be a truly interdisciplinary event, mobilizing scholars, social movements, practitioners and members of governmental agencies, undertaking research and/or executing climate change projects in coastal areas and working with coastal communities.

The aims of the Symposium are:

i. to discuss the influences of, the damages and the threats posed by climate change to estuaries and coastal communities;

ii. to introduce approaches, methods, initiatives and projects which demonstrate how coastal communities can successfully meet the challenges climate change poses to them. Here, an emphasis will be on the latest research, but also on infra-structure projects, demonstrations on the use of technologies and natural and artificial means to reduce the impacts of extreme events and sea level rise to coastal communities;

iii. to introduce funding schemes and mechanisms which can finance climate change adaptation in coastal areas and iv. to network the participants, disseminate examples of best practice and foster collaboration in this very important field.

Last but not least, a further aim of the event will be to document and disseminate the wealth of experiences available today. To this purpose, the book “Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Strategies in Costal Communities” will be published, with all accepted papers. This will be a further volume of the award-winning book series “Climate Change Management” published by Springer, which since its creation in 2008 has become the world´s leading peer-reviewed book series on climate change management.

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